In Afghanistan, where Handicap International has worked since 1987, the organization focuses on helping victims of landmines, preventing future mine accidents, and promoting disability-inclusive development. Currently, 159 Afghans and three expatriates carry out this mission.
Afghanistan has been in a near constant state of conflict and war since the late 1970s and is one of the poorest countries in the world. A large proportion of the population continues to suffer from severe insecurity, poor housing, and limited access to drinking water, electricity, medical care, and employment. Under these difficult circumstances, disabilities resulting from war or conflict, or endemic poverty, are extremely common.
- Victim assistance
- Supporting local disability rights organizations
- Database and Project Management
Working at the national and international levels, Handicap International works to ensure that all action plans resulting from the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention of Cluster Munitions and the Mine Ban Treaty are coordinated with each other, ensuring a more coherent implementation of victim assistance in the country. In conjunction with the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled (MoLSAMD), this project develops monitoring tools to evaluate progress throughout the country, organizes training on victim assistance concepts for local Disabled Peoples' Organizations (DPOs), and provides support aimed at affecting policy related to landmine victim assistance.
The overall aim of Handicap International's rehabilitation work in Afghanistan is to build the capacity of government and national institutions to guarantee and improve access for people with disabilities to functional rehabilitation care. At a national level, Handicap International promotes the recognition and inclusion of rehabilitation in the Ministry of Health’s policies on basic care.
Since 1996, Handicap International has managed a rehabilitation center in a regional hospital in Kandahar that runs physiotherapy sessions, and produces prostheses, orthoses and mobility aids. Patients from this facility are treated by male and female staff members, allowing women to benefit from care and orthopedic-fitting. This center also develops new techniques, such as upper limb prostheses and the treatment of club foot.
In the west of the country, Handicap International enables people with disabilities to access rehabilitation services at a dedicated center at the Herat Regional Hospital. This project also oversees seven community health centers and provides technical and financial support to local hospitals by funding certain physiotherapy posts and training medical staff.
Supporting local disability rights organizations
Handicap International supports local DPOs by connecting them with potential partners, both locally and internationally. The organization also amplifies their advocacy by helping DPOs get their needs addressed by local political leaders.
Database and Project Management
This regional project is implemented by Handicap International in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It is designed to improve the quality of project management through use of an open source software developed for French NGOs.